Photos: A look at SHI's Regional Jinéit Art Academy Youth Program
SHI began piloting the Jinéit Art Academy Youth Program in 2016, building partnerships in four Southeast Alaska communities with the common goal of exposing Alaska youth to high-quality Northwest Coast art programming and increasing the number of Alaska youth exposed to and familiar with Northwest Coast art forms.
SHI partnered with Craig City School District to provide after-school art classes at Craig Middle school.
Tlingit and Tsimshian artist Ronnie Fairbanks taught 1.5 hour classes at the Craig Jineit Art Academy Youth Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with some additional classes.
Students worked on small paddles, copper bracelets with etched formline designs, and linoleum block prints using both embossing and print techniques.
Students also helped with the annual Elder Elizabeth Peratrovich Day Luncheon. They made prints, plaques, and drawings using formline design and decorated the Craig Tribal Hall for the event. Elders took the students’ artwork home as a gift. On average, eight to ten students took part in the after-school art program.
At the end of the school year, students attended a field trip to the Haida Totem Pole Park and Whale House in Kasaan and organized a juried Native Arts Show judged by Jon Rowan of Klawock.
“We had the most amazing day. Most epic field trip ever!!!! Craig needs a carving shed after getting all these kids inspired.” – Julie Yates, Craig Jinéit Art Academy Liaison.
SHI partnered with the BAM (Body and Mind) After School program to provide instruction to Dzantik’i Heeni, Floyd Dryden, Montessori Borealis and Charter School middle school students.
Tlingit and Haida weaver Della Cheney taught 1.5 hour cedar bark classes on Mondays and Wednesdays at Floyd Dryden during the fall of 2016, at Dzantiki’I Heeni in January 2017, and finally at Montessori Borealis through April, with students participating from Montessori and Juneau Community Charter School.
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council sponsored Ricky Tagaban to apprentice as a teaching artist under Cheney.
Many thanks to Sealaska Natural Resources for donating some of the cedar bark! A total of 33 students participated.
Tsimshian Artist Mike Dangeli taught 1.5 hour formline design classes twice a week at Floyd Dryden and twice a week at Dzantik’i Heeni middle schools in January and February. A total of 25 students participated.
In June the partnership was extended to include Zach Gordon Youth Center and the CCTHITA Navigator program to provide a Ravenstail pouch class and a Regalia Headband Class taught by Tlingit artist Lily Hope at Zach Gordon Youth Center. A total of 20 students participated.
SHI partnered with Sitka Tribe of Alaska to support their ongoing NWC arts education programs for youth through the following classes:
- Pacific High School Northwest Coast Art Class: Students learned formline design and designed skateboards. 14 students participated.
- Blatchley Middle School Northwest Coast Art Class (Monday Wood Shop): 6th and 7th graders created bentwood boxes, and 8th graders created long house tool tray/bird houses and carving knives, among other activities. 73 students participated.
- Sitka High School Bracelet Carving Class (Art and Design): Students started with an introduction to formline design, and carved bracelets (starting with aluminum and moving to copper). 30 students participated.
- Sitka High School Drum Making Class (Art and Design II): Students started with an introduction to formline design, and designed drums using formline elements. Additional weaving patterns were incorporated into the drum frames. 18 students participated.
- Sitka High School Formline Class (Ceramics): Students incorporated formline design elements into ceramic pottery using special stamping materials (students’ designs were carved into stamping mats using 3D printers). 39 students participated.
- Sitka High School Wood Shop Canoe Project: Charlie Skultka, Jr., worked with SHS wood shop teacher Mike Viera, and assisted students in constructing a dugout canoe. 1 student participated.
SHI partnered with Angoon Schools to provide NWC art classes for youth in the community.
Tsimshian artist William Booth III taught a dance paddle class to seven students ages 11-17, in March.
Jennie Wheeler taught a regalia class focusing on bibs and headbands to nine middle/high school students in April. Many thanks to Haa Aani Carving Program for donating the wood for the paddle class!
Gunalchéesh, Nt’oyaxsn, Ha’w’aa to all artists, liaisons and everyone else who worked so hard to make these programs happen! We couldn’t do it without you!
The Jinéit Art Academy Youth Programs are provided by Sealaska Heritage Institute in partnership with local schools and organizations, and supported, in part, by a private foundation, the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
(Photos by Julie Yates, Ronnie Fairbanks, Nobu Koch, Reanna Kookesh-Booth and Sitka Tribe of Alaska)